Sitting Out On Carr Mill Lawn

Yes, today’s update comes from outside in 20˚C weather. It’s quite nice.

(I expect to be slapped when I get home. Obviously)

As part of my shopping travels yesterday, I had to walk through UNC campus to get to the bus stop. Always an odd feeling. I know I made the right decision to come home again five years ago, and the only reason I met all my friends here is that I gave up doing the degree in the last three months of the semester, but whenever I walk through the throngs of students, I do always ponder what would have happened if I stayed.

But the thought went out of my head as I walked past the group playing in the Pit (to be filled with other, just as pointless thoughts, but they're not worth dwelling on either). It was time to go shopping! Now, normally, I'm reasonably sensible when it comes to this part of the trip (aside from getting it all in my suitcase at the end of the journey), but this time around Thursday would be the only day I could probably go shopping, because the buses wouldn't be running on Friday, Saturday Christa and I are planning for Europe, Sunday is Easter (and contrary to what you might think, America shuts down then even more so than the UK does) and Monday I'm flying home! So it was Thursday or nothing.

I started at 10. Christa found me outside Whole Foods a short time after five clutching a barrage of bags and about to head off to the ABC store to buy all the alcohol for tomorrow night's party. So I didn't have to walk a mile and a half back to Collin's with five glass bottles and a bunch of other shopping (including about 2lbs of sweets). Hurrah!

We also had foodscience! plans for last night. Specifically, hot ice cream. It involves a chemical called methylcellulose, which thickens as its heated. The idea is to add a bunch of the chemical to a liquid (in our case, a recipe that involved a blend of cream cheese, yogurt, agave nectar and vanilla) and then immerse scoops of the liquid in boiling water, which should make it set.

Should. Needless to say, perhaps because our measuring was off, or perhaps because we were doing it wrong, we couldn't get the liquid to set properly, except for a little bit at the edges. We need more experimentation there, I think.

On the other hand, frying oreos, cookie dough, brownie bits, cheddar, and cream cheese in 7up/Bisquick batter worked pretty well. Even if everybody else has a bad stomach this morning...

And On The First Day, He Shopped

So much shopping…

currently playing:

Story so far




Wii DDR!


I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing

I suppose that even a month ago, my being off the coast of Canada right now was not something that I expected. But here I am, heading back to Carolina earlier than scheduled, a full seven months ahead of my trip in November for the election. Five days. If that seems crazy to you, then I agree. But here I am.

It meant I got to say goodbye to Gatwick one last time yet again; in two weeks, flight AA173 will move to Heathrow’s Terminal 3 along with the rest of American Airlines. But one British airport is pretty much like any other, so I don’t think I’ll miss it too much. And the bus ride will be shorter from Oxford.

And then flashes of an uglier side of me; getting riled up at a group of British students dressed like they had walked off the set of Skins, mocking America even as they were heading over there, stocking up on vast quantities of alcohol. Effortlessly cool, girls in tow, definitely going to be voting Tory at the next election. My anger at them and the country was soon supplanted by a fear of becoming the next Robin Carmody; realising, like all good bullies, that the root of that was jealousy and envy on my part. And could I really blame them for their (totally imagined by me) choice? Given two parties who stand for the same middle class focus groups, you’d pick the one that wasn’t in charge while the economy crashes around our ears. The free-market pixie dust isn’t working this time around. If it ever really did.

Ashamed, I headed for the gate; retreating to the 1920s. Which, thinking about it, is probably the worst place to escape to, but the irony amuses me.

Japan entertained me with a tale of a teacher who keeps trying to commit suicide and a student who is utterly enraptured with life, America supplied the 1950s and the hey! SMOKING! of Mad Men, while the British contingent was The Century of The Self (or Perhaps L. Ron Hubbard Had A Point?). As with all Adam Curtis documentaries, a fairly depressing look at democracy and business in the latter half of the 20th century. It’s funny how they are all the same subject, but approach it at different angles; instead of terrorism and the Cold War, Self concentrates on the impact that Freud had on shaping advertising, propaganda, and eventually even the very running of Government itself. Light-hearted plane fare, I think.

Another four hours to go. Halifax is underneath me now; not for the first time, not for the last, hopefully.

currently playing: The Long Blondes — Nostalgia

Please, Please, Please

Do you remember how we used to live?

We’re going to have a convention floor fight. But if the Democrats choose Clinton over the man who wrote and gave this speech today, they’re throwing away their best ever chance to finally stake the Southern Strategy at its very heart.

Plus, he loves The Wire. What else needs to be said?

currently playing: R.E.M. – Man-Sized Wreath

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall?

Meanwhile, ex-members of Long-Term Capital Management are popping open champagne bottles. It almost makes Northern Rock cheap in comparison…

Sold for $2 a share! With another $30bn of Federal security!

(How does it feel to treat me like you do?)

currently playing: Brian Eno – Music For Airports 1-1

No roaches?

Pulp Archie!

(and the original tie-in comic)




I know, it’s beginning to feel like the Democrats will be still fighting among themselves by Election Day in November. And today’s primary isn’t going to help. The real event is six weeks (SIX! WEEKS!) in the future, where both candidates will battle over the delgates in Pennsylvania (and even then, it probably won’t be finished - unless somebody steps in after April 22nd, North Carolina will become an important primary state. Goodness!), but today, well, today is Mississippi’s day. It’s seen as another chance for Obama to take the energy out of Clinton’s wins in Ohio and Texas last Tuesday (technically, she actually lost Texas, but it’s partly a media battle as much as a delegate battle). He can at most pick up about five delegates over Clinton tonight, but it’ll extend his lead even further, and wipe out all of Hillary’s gains during March.

Meanwhile - surely Spitzer should have been intelligent enough to draw on his time as New York Attorney General and realise that all those bank transfers would raise eyebrows at his bank? How monumentally stupid. Although it’s amusing that the GOP is calling for his head, yet Senator Vitter is allowed to stay despite his regular use of a DC Madam. Funny, that.

Oh, and Dr. Laura is still trash. But then you knew that.

For those of you wondering just what damage the Bush Administration can do in ten months, Admiral Fallon, military commander for the Middle East and coincidentally against attacking Iran, has resigned from his post today. He’s been called “the one man standing between Dick Cheney and Iran”. Hurrah!

currently playing: Luke Haines – The Oliver Twist Manifesto

How's That Abstinence Plan Working Out, Then?

Surprise! Not very well!

currently playing: Longpigs – She Said